Madia R's Blog Post
Hello! I am originally from South Dayton, New York. Now, after serving and then accompanying my husband in the US Army for 22 years, we've decided to make Sierra Vista, AZ our home for the past 16 years. I have always loved word games including board games and hidden word searches. I even won my high school spelling bee! So when Wheel of Fortune came along, I was all into it.
My adventure began some 30 years ago, watching Wheel with my husband, Bryant, and his family in Gettysburg, PA. His grandmother, Old Grammie, as she was affectionately known, would say, "Madia you should go on that show! You are so good at it!" I remember thinking there is no way, that show is for those other people. I don't know who those other people were, but it wasn't me. Then, a few years ago my brother-in-law, Jason, made his life-long dream a reality when he was on that other show, Jeopardy!. He even made it to the Tournament of Champions! I knew that was not the show for me, but if he could do it so could I.
My adventure took off when I saw that The Wheelmobile was coming to Tucson, AZ November 11 & 12, 2014! Bryant and I spent two days at the Casino just trying to get on stage for an audition. The first day was a lot of fun in the gorgeous AZ weather, but no audition. I thought my time was over, but I had a dream of wrinkling my ticket before putting it in the barrel. Bryant said, "Go ahead, you got this" and I did. It worked, my name was the fifth one called! I made it on stage with Marty & Morgan and even danced the Irish Step with Marty! (It looked more like an Irish jig.)
Fast forward a couple months and I received an invitation to the final auditions! I called and spoke with the contestant coordinator, Alex, who calmed me down and told me come to the audition and have fun. I did just that! I had a blast solving puzzles, meeting fellow Wheel Watchers, and taking the test. I remember listening to others afterwards: "That was so hard, I think I only got 8 right, I haven't taken a test since high school." I told Bryant "There was only two I didn't get" and he said once again, "Don't worry, you got this."
I was sure I would get my letter and figured I'd get on the show sometime within the next two years. So imagine my surprise to not only get my letter, but to also get a date for a California taping in two weeks! It all seemed so unreal and it was happening so fast! I had tons of questions, and once again I talked to Alex, who calmed my nerves, and assured me she would be with me the whole day in California. And she was! I heaved a sigh of relief, just seeing a familiar face. Thank you to all the people who work behind the scenes! You are amazing at helping us look our best, getting us hyped for the show, and then calming us down for the action! And speaking of nerves - I am most positive that I don't remember what I said when Pat introduced me. But I don't recall mentioning some very important people in my life. So to all my co-workers at ESBF and to all my families in Early Head Start, all past and present, you are all much loved!
Bryant & I decided to make a mini vacation of our trip to California. It was just before Valentine's Day, and we were soon to celebrate our 30th Anniversary! We spent the day before the taping just walking up and down the Santa Monica Pier. The weather was gorgeous and just right for calming the nerves! Being there with Bryant made it all the more perfect!
It was an honor just being on the show and getting my chance to spin the Wheel, and of course, meeting Pat and Vanna! Thank you KGUN 9 and Desert Diamond Casino for bringing the Wheelmobile to Tucson! Jason, thank you for helping me realize that anyone, including me, can be one of those other people! And thank you Bryant, my hubby and true BFF, for always being by my side as I go on my wild adventures! And especially, thank you to Old Grammie! I felt your spirit guiding me along this awesome path, and I know you'll be watching again on April 6th! I did it; I went on that show; and I'm going to be on Wheel of Fortune!